Rights groups in Myanmar say the president has pardoned more than a dozen political prisoners and former military intelligence officials as part of a pledge to free people jailed for political crimes by the end of the year.

The official Political Prisoner Scrutiny Committee said Tuesday that the amnesty was part of a wider release of about 3,000 criminals, most of whom committed minor crimes.

Ye Aung, a committee member, said he believes at least 13 political prisoners were released along with a half dozen former senior military intelligence officers detained after the 2004 ouster of Prime Minister Khin Nyunt.

Thein Sein, a former general who was elected in 2011 after five decades of military rule, had pledged to free all political offenders by the end of the year.